Carthage, Crockett, Jasper Fall to Consolation Bracket at the Division II 7-on-7 Football State Tournament
LEANDER -- Three of East Texas' seven teams at the Division II 7-on-7 state tournament failed to qualify for Friday's championship bracket.
Pool N favorite Carthage dropped its final two Thursday pool-play games, while Crockett went 1-2 and Jasper was 0-3 in Pool K at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park.
Carthage, considered one of the tournament favorites entering Thursday and the No. 1 team in Class 3A by multiple preseason magazines, came out of the gates strong with a 32-0 win against Gatesville. But that was short-lived as La Grange beat the Bulldogs 38-27 in the next game.
Needing a win to advance to the championship bracket, Carthage led Sonora 20-14 at halftime on Blake Bogenschutz' 45-yard, length-of-the-field touchdown strike to O'Keeron Rutherford on the first half's final play. That was Rutherford's second touchdown of the game. Tevin Pipkin caught a 25-yard score for the Bulldogs' first touchdown.
Carthage was poised to extend its lead to two scores in the second half, but Bogenschutz was intercepted at the goal line after a receiver bobbled a pass on a relatively easy play that would've give the Dawgs a cushion of at least 12 points with a few minutes remaining.
Instead, Sonora drove and scored with 30 seconds remaining and converted the PAT for a 21-20 lead, leaving Carthage only one play to try to regain the lead. A deep ball down the sideline was incomplete.
Terian "Tee" Goree had two touchdown catches against Gatesville, while Keldrean Strong caught one score and returned an interception for a touchdown. Rutherford caught one of Bogenschutz' four touchdown passes.
Crockett and Jasper clashed in their second game of Pool K play and needed overtime to determine a winner.
Tied 20-20 through regulation, Crockett took a 27-20 lead on a touchdown throw from Case Robinson to Darius Barber, then sealed the victory with a game-ending, length-of-the-field interception return touchdown.
Crockett's Carlton Shirley, A.J. Phillips, and JaMarcus Moten each caught one touchdown pass. Jasper's Steven Walker completed touchdown passes to Jamarcus Reed, Chris Spikes, and Terrance Cuney.
Walker's 25-yard touchdown strike to Cuney gave Jasper a 20-13 second-half lead, but Crockett tied the game late in regulation on a short touchdown toss from Robinson to Shirley that sent the game to overtime.
Graham beat Jasper 60-27 in Jasper's first pool-play game, while Boerne topped Crockett 32-19. In the third round of pool play, Boerne beat Jasper 21-14 and pool champion Graham downed Crockett 39-26.
Carthage, Crockett, and Jasper get another chance at 8 a.m. Friday in the Division II consolation bracket.
Carthage plays Abilene Wylie, while Crockett and Jasper face Eastland and Cameron Yoe, respectively.